Steal This Yusho

Perhaps you’ve heard us making comments about Kisenosato’s bouts for this tournament.  In response to Mike at Sumotalk’s insightful Orchestrating An Ozeki Run that the JSA would give a yusho to Kisenosato before tthe year was over, but that I thought they would wait until a bit later in the year.  Well, it is possible that I may have spoken too soon.  As of day 10 Kise is 9-1, with his only loss being on day 4 to Toyonoshima.  With Hakuho losing a bout to Kakuryu (frankly if that was yaocho Hakuho is up for an oscar) Kise is now tied with the Yokozuna, and Hakuho still has to face all of the ozeki. 

We want to hear from you.  Here are all of Kisenosato’s bouts from the tournament.  Take a look and tell us what you think.  Leave your thoughts in the comments section as to which bouts, if any, you think smell funny.

6 responses to “Steal This Yusho

  1. When I heard that Hakuho was taken down by the Kak, the first thing I thought (as probably many of you) that it was staged. Whether or not it was yaocho, it doesn’t really matter, but it makes all the leniency toward Kise all that more convenient. That’d be so lame if they give a yusho to Kise. Maybe even setting him up for another promotion down the line…

    “Kise must be Yokozuna material… I mean he did stop Hakuho from reaching that record”…..riiiight : |

  2. Wakakoyu and Kotoshogiku were both ridiculous, but they are also both having a really terrible basho. To be honest I think the Kid’s sumo been pretty put together.

  3. Kakuryu is good — he’s really the fifth ozeki (with Kotooshu being whatever, the third Chiyotaiki and end career Kaio) in terms of talent, and it was only a matter of time before he beat Hakuho. If that match was fixed there really isn’t any point in watching sumo, might as well switch to WWW or whatever.
    As far as Kisenosato goes, he’s benefited from some weak sumo from his opponents at times (maybe some yaocho, maybe not; his first week’s competition just aren’t that talented). He sumo looks okay, but not yusho worthy, and I don’t expect him to win the yusho in Hatsu.
    Oh, and when was the last time before Hatsu anyone can remember a henka by Kisenosato? And nowlooky — two of them: a swift and nasty sidestep on day 10 (against Kotoshogiku, an opponent he has trouble beating) and a half-henka against an opponent noone in the sanyaku should have trouble defeating anymore, Miyabiyama. (When an ozeki steps that wide against a lower ranked opponent I count it as a henka.) Now I feel Kisenosato has truly arrived as a bona fide ozeki, because he sures henkas like the rest of this bunch.

  4. Thanks for bringing this up, I personally can’t remember ever seeing a Kisenosato henka. However, I think its important to distinguish between a sidestep and a henka. Kise certainly sidestepped on Geek and Miyabiyama, but I wouldn’t call it a henka. Side stepping after initial contact is a perfectly valid strategy, more over, the Geek was WAY too far forward.

  5. I agree that side stepping AFTER initial contact isn’t a henka. That’s not what happened with Kisenosato’s fight on day 10 though. Kisenosato first step (with his left foot) is sideways, not forward. As far as can be inferred from the tape, Kisenosato never had any intention of actually engaging Kotoshogiku, just pulling him down into the space in front of Kotoshogiku (i.e., the area that Kisenosato would normally be). There wasn’t a hit and shift here — the shift began before the hit, and the incidental contact simply helped fool Kotoshogiku and help Kisenosato pull him down. The fact that Kotoshogiku was too far forward has nothing to to with whether or not it was a henka, just whether or not it was successful.

    I agree that it’s not a “classical” henka, but to me if it bah’s like a sheep, smells like a sheep and is made of wool it’s more like a sheep than anything else.

  6. Well, we could argue till blue in the face here. So I’m perfectly happy to agree to disagree. While slightly sneaky, I wouldn’t call Kise’s bout with either rikishi a henka.

    One thing we can agree on though would be that Harumafuji and Baruto’s performances on day 12 were definitely henkas, and definitely ridiculous.

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